A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Josef Herman, the artist who lived through the Nazi invasion of Poland, fled to what country?

2. What is the result of the casual sexual practices of the men of Botswana?

3. In Chapter 2, what does Bessie state is responsible for the elimination of polygamy in Botswana?

4. In 1968, where was Bessie told that South African literature wasn't very popular?

5. In Chapter 2, what does Bessie believe that people cannot protest against?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Oppression stunted and almost obliterated Bessie's creativity. And yet, the musician, Makeba, seemed to revel in it. Why do you think it would affect two people so differently? Is it a question of passion? Does it create more passion for some and less for others? Do you think that Makeba's passion for liberation fueled her in a creative sense? Did she use the situation to her own advantage? Did Bessie's avoidance of anything liberatory or revolutionary deny her this? Had she been more liberal, might she have been able to write?

Essay Topic 2

Bessie developed an early love for Capetown and returned there frequently. What did her friends tell her about Capetown in 1958? Why does she love it so much? What sense does she get there? Why do the whites of the Cape describe it as having a liberal tradition? What does Bessie think of their assessment? Why does she say they pride themselves on this? What kind of personality do the Cape Coloureds have that she admires? What compromise have they made with the ruling group? What impressions do you get from Bessie regarding this compromise?

Essay Topic 3

Bessie views African religion as "within oneself," with no need for institutions or communal worship. Does this seem to work well, for them? Why does Bessie think that this fits into their basic philosophy of life? Bessie states that this is the religion of any people who have never been wanted by the rest of mankind nor had the means or education to find God in a "posh place." Do you agree with this statement? Does a place of worship have to be posh? Is the fact of a community coming together more important than the structure that they worship in? Why, do you think, she assumes that all organized religions have elegant places of worship? Do you think she's right? Given the black South African's sense of being set apart from the rest of the world, do you think their type of "individual" worship only serves to emphasize their "aloneness"? Would a more group-based religion make them feel like part of something larger?

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